On Friday morning, people on the Beastie Boys' email list received
a cryptic email, the subject line read "MSN MSG" and the body of the email only
contained "This Sat, 10:35 am EST -- Just listen, listen, listen to the beat box"
with a link to their website. Did it mean that the Ad Rock, MCA and Mike D were
gonna perform live at Madison Square Garden on Saturday morning? No, not
really; it meant a boombox playing the Beasties' new album would sit at
halfcourt in the Garden with a mic blasting the entire new album over the PA
and a few cameras streaming it onto the web.
We made our way to their website to see the footage and
listen to entire album, only to find the video of the boombox had been replaced
by entire high-quality stream of the album and this statement:
Good people, unfortunately due to circumstances beyond
our control, the "clean" version of our new album, The Hot Sauce
Committee pt 2 has leaked. So as a hostile and retaliatory measure with great hubris
we are making the full explicit aka filthy dirty nasty version available for
streaming on our site. We hope this brings much happiness, hugs, and harmony.
Enjoy Kikoos for life!
Thank you, The Management
Here's the video of the boombox at the garden, followed by our initial
thoughts of the new album.
"Make Some Noise" starts it off with some Paul's Boutique
party vibe, with Check Your Head-style production. The immediate thought is, "The
Beasties are back." We never lost faith in their musical prowess. And even
though their last effort, 2007's The Mix
Up, was an accomplished instrumental work, the Beastie Boys don't need to
prove that they know how to play instruments anymore. We know they got jazz skills;
we want to hear them spit the skills that pay the bills.
"Non-Stop Disco Powerpack" is the Beasties turned down a
bit; the voices are lower and more relaxed; they dialed in just enough
echoplex so we can hear them clearly bragging and boasting about being the
best MCs, as all good MCs must do. MCA's voice has always been the most worn of
all the boys; his vocal cords sound a little shredded, but his delivery is
sharp and endearing. The man is fighting cancer and manages to rhyme at 140
beats per minute without losing his breath."OK" is full of new, futuristic sounds and vocoded hooks. We were so into this song and amazed by the layers of fun within it. They cheekily have Adrock build up into a signature, "mmmm... drrrrrrrop!"only to psyche us out, with an "mmmmmmmm... OK!"
"Say It" is a grimy head banger of a hip-hop song.
Everything is distorted and feeding back without diluting the rump-shaking rhythm.
This is what was missing from 2002's To the
5 Burroughs. Near the end of the
song, there's an eight-second, eight-bit breakdown that we wish would've gone on longer.
The opening buildup of "Long Burn the Fire" gives no
indication of where the song is going to go. It feels like it may be "Sabotage
Part 2: Cochese Under Siege," until half-time new jack swing takes over. Hearing
Adrock's classic nasal voice "The proof is in the pudding, and the pudding's in
my pants," reminds us that hip-hop can be fun, silly, and smart.
The little skits between the songs are fairly entertaining. "The
Larry Routine" is so hilarious and catchy that we had to start that little
ditty over four times to make sure it was as good as we thought. It was -- it
Straight from the Rat Cage, "Lee Majors Come Again" is a
classic Beasties punk. This is not rap-rock. You know what we mean, right? This
isn't a clunky Korn song or a dorky Kid Rock song; that's what we mean. They
take hardcore and force it beautifully into a rap song. It's perfect for a
house party, perfect for a mosh pit. It's followed by "Multilateral Nuclear
Disarmament," a loungey instrumental, heavy on the organ, heavy on the upright
bass. OK, we are glad they reminded us they can shred and noodle.
As the album comes to a close, we sort of wish that part one
of this double album was already out. It's nice to see that after more or less
30 years in the game, the Beastie Boys always seem fresh and ahead of the